International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Albania - Improving Coverage and Management Effectiveness of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas

Project Objective: Albania supports a wide spectrum of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic or sub-endemic, due to its ecosystem diversity and its critical geographical location between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, where the Otranto Channel remains a strategic migratory route for many avian and marine species. Many of the coastal area's rare species are threatened by massive population increase and migration to those regions, exploiting the region's natural resources through unsustainable agriculture and industrial activity. Much of the sand and gravel from dunes and the coastal floor have been extracted for construction materials, which combined with massive erosion has degraded coastal habitats immensely. Overfishing and poaching has tragically reduced stocks of marine and avian life, while industrial effluents have clouded the waters, particularly in the "hotspot" areas near factories.

Currently the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration (MEFWA) through UNDP is implementing a project aiming to implement recommendations through Albania's participation in the Program of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA), which includes undertaking a comprehensive ecological gap assessment for the protected area system and fostering a constructive policy environment which will help preserve these marine protected areas. The PoWPA project is quite limited in time, funding, and scope and is hindered by poor bio-geographical representation (with only several coastal and no marine PAs selected) and a week institutional framwork for policy enforcement. Thus the GEF project intends to expand upon the PoWPA project and overcome identified barriers associated with it, first through improved bio-geographical representation of marine protected areas (MPAs) by creating a strategic plan for MPA expansion, policy creation and enforcement, and additionally through improved management arrangement for MPAs, clarifying institutional settings and capacity building through creation of a Cross-Sectoral Forum for marine and coasta PA governance.The Forum will serve as mechanism of streamlining interactions, roles, and responsibilities of all its stakeholders.

Marine Protected Areas

Mediterranean Sea (LME)

Europe , Southern Europe

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Documents & Resources
General information
GEF ID 3997
Project type Medium-Size Project
Status closed (Project Approved)
Start Date 09 Jun 2010
End Date 01 Feb 2018
GEF characteristic:
Focal Area Biodiversity
GEF Allocation to project 950,000 USD
Total Cost of the project: 2,977,500.00 USD

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Project contacts
Eno Dodbiba National Expert
Violeta Zuna National Project Manager/ Team Leader for UNDP Albania's Biodiversity Conservation and MPAs Programme